The tributes to Euripides all echoed the longtime resident of Alexandria’s commitment to his faith, his family and his country.
“Charlie actually lived the American Legion’s motto, ‘For God and Country,’ said American Legion Station 24 Commander Henry Dorton. “But for anyone who knew Charlie, you would need add the word “Family” to the motto. He was always smiling, always helpful and totally selfless, it’s no wonder to me that he and his restaurant have become a local institution.
Born on December 8, 1932, in Karavas, Cyprus, Kyriacos “Charlie” Euripides was the eldest son of Euripides and Maria Hadjiyiannakis. His father served in the British Army’s Cyprus Brigade during World War II, which inspired Euripides’ life of service.
“Charlie was mentored by the greatest generation,” nephew Dimitri Pikrallidas said. “He was proud to follow in the footsteps of his father, who served in World War II.”
After graduating from Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia, Cyprus, Euripides left his family behind and immigrated to the United States in 1951.
“It was my life’s ambition to come to the United States,” Euripides said in 2018 after being selected as a living legend of Alexandria. “I was told the schools here were good, so I knew whatever my future was going to be here.”
Euripides joins an uncle, who operates a restaurant on the corner of Royal and King streets. He worked at the restaurant while taking citizenship classes at the old George Washington High School in Del Ray and studying engineering at George Washington University in DC.
In 1954, Euripides joined the US Navy. He served two years aboard the battleship New Jersey in the artillery division, followed by two years with the 6th Fleet aboard the flagship Salem. He became an American citizen in 1957.
“I am inspired to live a life as brave as he was.”
– Barbara Euripides on her grandfather Charlie Euripides
At the end of his military service, Euripides returned to Alexandria, giving up his engineering degree to help his uncle at the Royal Restaurant. In 1962 he formed a partnership with his uncle, Richard Pikrallidas, eventually assuming full ownership which continued for over 60 years.
Due to urban renewal, Euripides was forced to move the restaurant to its current location at N. St. Asaph St. in 1965. Now married and raising a family, Euripides was determined that the new Royal Restaurant would be a success.
“It was our only income,” Euripides said. “I couldn’t let my uncle or my employees down.”
In 1960 Euripides married Barbara Hobbs Euripides and established a home in Alexandria. To support his family, he worked three jobs, including managing the delivery of paper routes for the Alexandria Gazette, six days a week.
A member of the American Legion Post 24 since 1958, Euripides has donated his time and resources to numerous military and veteran-focused initiatives.
“Dad was honored to be part of an organization of brave veterans, all of whom served the community,” said his son Chris Euripides. “These veterans upheld the highest ideals of freedom and democracy. They were like family to him and he considered them his great friends.
Euripides has also supported numerous non-profit and social service organizations such as the Salvation Army, Del Ray Artisans, and the Alexandria Police Foundation with significant financial and in-kind donations of food and catering services. .
“Kind and generous just doesn’t go far enough to describe Charlie,” said DRA Vice President and Post 24 veteran John Bordner.
Euripides was a founding member of St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, Falls Church and was an active member for 60 years.
“Charlie carried his resolve to serve as a founding member of Saint Katherine’s Church, knowing that building and supporting churches was the right thing to do,” Pikrallidas said. “When so many people in the community asked him for help, he never said no. He said ‘When? How much? and or?'”
Nephew John Tegeris added, “Charlie’s love language was food.”
Euripides was president of the Alexandria chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) from 1966 to 1967. In addition, he was president of the Cyprus Society, of Washington, D.C., and worked to support and advocate the independence of the Cypriot nation.
“Dad’s love for family was evident every day as he worked to provide us with things and experiences that he knew to be wholesome, educational and highly beneficial for spiritual growth,” the eldest son said. Euripides, Gus Euripides.
His son Michael added: “Dad loved the outdoors and encouraged each of us to participate in sports and scouting. He didn’t know how to water ski, but together with our mother, he bought a boat and built a house at Lake Anna which became a focal point of family gatherings for four decades.
Among his many accolades and awards, Euripides received the prestigious Distinguished Patriot Award at the 2016 Salute to Veterans reception from the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.
Until recently, Euripides was still welcoming customers to the restaurant. His younger brother Richard is the leader, having joined Euripides as a refugee when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974.
Euripides was predeceased by his wife of 41 years, Barbara. He is survived by three sons, Charles “Gus” (Joanne), Michael (Evanthia) and Christopher (Sophia), his grandchildren, Barbara, Elefteria, Charles, Evangelos, Chrystanthi, Maria and Paraskaevi, his brother Efthyios “Richard ” Euripides, and many nieces, nephews and cousins in Greece, Cyprus and around the world. He was predeceased by his sister, Stassoula Yettimis, and his brother, Costas Johnnides.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3149 Glen Carlyn Road, Falls Church, VA 22041.
Like so many before her, Euripides’ eldest granddaughter, Barbara, paid tribute to her grandfather’s service to God, his country, his family and his community, saying, “I am inspired to live a life as brave as he was. »